Sewing with Tati J – Lessons Learned

Its been 2 weeks since the girls and I came back from our lovely trip to France and they have started school so we are slowly adjusting to our routines.

If you have been following my blog for a while then you have probably come across several posts where I talk about wanting to learn to sew clothes.

I am sure you will agree that wanting something and doing something are two VERY different things. Before our trip to France I had mentioned to my mum that I wanted to learn how to make clothes and she had this brilliant idea for my Aunt Jackie aka Tati J to teach me. Tati means Aunt in French and J is the first letter of her name hence Tati J.

Sewing Lesson Tati J Cover

Tati J is the eldest of her siblings, then comes my Aunt Tati P, my mum and my uncle Pierre aka Tonton Pierre. So being the eldest of the four my aunt along with my grandmother (meme) made clothes for the rest of them (which includes my mum). Tati J learned how to sew from school back then when they taught home economics when it was offered as a subject in school.

A couple of days after we arrived he sewing lessons began, we decided that we would make a girls dress to begin with and we decided on making Princesse des Champs from a French sewing magazine called Passion Couture Creative which my mum bought up for me.

Unexpected Challenges: As excited as I was about learning I knew that I was going to be faced with a challenge. Having learned how to sew I am familiar with all most of the sewing terms in ENGLISH my aunt is obviously used to them in French! It was fun trying to figure out what she meant LOL let’s say there was a lot of action involved. So you can imagine the fun had 😀

Bought some pretty polka dot print fabric at the Saturday market then we got down to business.

When it came to the pattern Tati J explained to me the different marking on the patterns what they meant and how it can be applied on the pattern pieces once cut. Next step was to place them on the fabric and cut the pieces to make the dress. Fabric can be quite expensive and you want to make sure to make the most of it, as you might want to use it to make something else. She stressed on how I should focus on saving fabric by making use of every inch of it by placing the pattern pieces in such a way to utilize as much fabric as we can.

Sewing Lesson Tati J 3

Once fabric has been cut the real fun begins, she took the bodice and folded it in half and snipped the top to make a V and did that to the front and to the back. Having that V there would ensure when sewing the pieces together that identical when placed together.

The dress we made is a sleeveless dress size of a 12 year old, when we came to make the curved part of the armhole (under the armpit) she taught me a trick to make sure that part lies flat (without any bulge),  I wish I could explain it but i think it would be easier to show you how its done.

Sewing Lesson Tati J 2

Since the bottom half of the dress is a gathered skirt, Tati J showed me how to make the gathers. Her trick involved making the middle of the fabric with V and placing it with the V that she had marked on the bodice, to make sure that we are placing the fabric correctly.

Making the gathers was fairly easy she taught me how to make gathers the “proper way” as opposed to the “cheating way” which takes less time, if you have no idea  what I am on about then head to Dana Made it for the details.

Lastly being the seamstress that she is Tati J stressed on the importance of ironing, which along with the proper sewing technique is the make or break of any project you are working on.

Cant wait to show you what I made, make sure you come back on Sunday for the reveal of the dress!

I am so proud of it, its the cutest thing I have ever made :)

by mayya


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